The sitter, Ernest Fosbery, was a well-known Canadian portrait painter and a former president of the Royal Canadian Academy. Born in 1874 in Ottawa, Fosbery later studied in Paris under the French artist Fernand Cormon. He served with the Canadian Grenadier Guards during the First World War and was wounded in action during the Second Battle of the Somme. He became a member of the Société Union Internationale des Beaux-Arts et des Lettres, Paris in 1911, was elected president of the Royal Canadian Academy in 1943, chairman of the Arts Reconstruction Committee in 1944, and honorary president of the Canadian Arts Council in 1945. A well-respected teacher, Fosbery was on the staff of the Arts Students League in Buffalo, New York and the Art Association of Ottawa. Examples of his portraiture are in the collection of the Supreme Court of Canada, the Canadian Senate, and the Canadian War Memorial. Both Paxton and Fosbery were teachers of Julius John Lankes, the noted illustrator celebrated for his long-lasting artistic collaboration with the beloved American poet Robert Frost.
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